Study abroad

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Name: Kendra Stevenson
Classification: Junior
Major: public relations / Spanish minor
Hometown: Dexter, MO
Studying at: HUG

HU: What is your current location?
KS: We are in Rome catching a flight back to Athens after a week of free traveling all over Europe.

HU: What has been the most interesting thing that has happened on your journey so far?
KS: It started on day two in Barcelona. Our next stop was Dublin, and we were catching a flight to London then connecting to Dublin. Our first flight became delayed six hours because the plane was literally broken, and this would cause us to miss our flight from London to Dublin. We had no idea what to do. We had two nights stay, a tour scheduled in Dublin, and our next flight leaving from Dublin. We looked up flights directly to Dublin from Barcelona just to see what came up, and sure enough, there was a flight straight there that didn’t depart until 10:50 p.m. with eight empty seats. God has a good way of showing us He’s really in control and looking out for us. We took off scrambling through the airport to purchase, print and check-in (for the second time) for our flight. We eventually made it on a plane, and we all slept straight through that flight. We arrived in Dublin around 1 a.m., and we could not have been happier. We laugh about it now, but at the time it was complete chaos.

HU: How many pictures do you think you’ve taken as of now?
KS: 2,500 — easily.

HU: What is your favorite photo you’ve taken so far?

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KS: It’s so hard to choose a favorite photo from this trip because I have seen so many places that are absolutely beautiful. I’ve also seen so many places that speak to me in such beautiful ways as well. I think this picture best describes the beauty of Greece. This spot is known for the best sunset in Greece. It’s located in Sounio where the Temple of Poseidon is also located. It is definitely the most spectacular sunset I have ever seen, and I try to constantly remind myself how blessed I am to have this opportunity. Whenever God paints pictures for us to enjoy, I try to stop and reflect on my experiences and remember what our overall purpose is in this life. This was one of those opportunities, and I am continually reminded of how great our God really is.

HU: What is the most delicious thing you’ve eaten so far?
KS: Lemon gelato. I cannot get enough.

HU: What are you looking forward to the most about coming back to the U.S.?
KS: Flushing toilet paper

HU: What has this experience studying abroad taught you?
KS: I am not in control of anything. I love knowing what’s going on at all times everywhere we go. I love controlling all the tickets, times, information — everything. But all airports, all train stations, and pretty much everywhere in Europe runs on its own time. I have had to learn to let things go, to trust others in knowing what they are doing, to be more flexible and to roll with the punches, and more importantly to be thankful for this opportunity because so few are able to have it.

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Name: Carlie Tacker
Classification: Junior
Major: Graphic Design
Hometown: Searcy, AR
Studying at: Art and Design International — Italy, Spain, France, and England

HU: What is your current location?
CT: London, England

HU: What has been the most interesting thing that has happened on your journey so far?
CT: I saw a bullfight in Madrid.

HU: How many pictures do you think you’ve taken as of now?
CT: I’ve filled two memory cards & took up most of the storage on my phone.

HU: What is your favorite photo you’ve taken so far?carlietacker1

CT: It’s from my phone because I haven’t uploaded or edited any off of my camera… It is looking into the courtyard of the Lourve in Paris right before sunset. I love the sun flare. The lighting makes it look almost magical.

HU: What is the most delicious thing you’ve eaten so far?
CT: I love tiramisu!

HU: What has this experience studying abroad taught you?
CT: I’ve learned to go with the flow. That’s been a little hard for me because I like to be in control. In a different country, it’s difficult. I find myself not knowing what’s happening or what’s coming next, but I’ve ended up having the most fun when I’m willing to just sit back and let things happen.

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Name: Molly White
Classification: Sophomore
Major: Management
Hometown: Franklin, Tennessee
Studying at: HUF

HU: What is your current location?
MW: Florence, Italy

HU: What has been the most interesting thing that has happened on your journey so far?
MW: The most interesting thing to happen on my trip so far was the tour of the museum of the works of the Duomo, the Baptistery and the Duomo. We learned a lot of history about the buildings, and I am now more interested about the architecture of the Duomo than I’ve ever been about any other building.

HU: How many pictures do you think you’ve taken as of now?
MW: As of now, I think I have taken around 300 pictures, and I’ve only been here around two weeks!

HU: What is your favorite photo you’ve taken so far?

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MW: My favorite picture I’ve taken so far is the sun setting in Florence! After walking around Florence one night, I was about to walk over a bridge and just had to stop and stare at the beautiful sunset ahead of me. I didn’t care that I had to get back quickly to the villa for dinner — I was too caught up soaking in the sunset.

HU: What is the most delicious thing you’ve eaten so far?
MW: The most delicious thing I’ve eaten is either dark chocolate gelato or olive oil. I put olive oil on everything over here because it’s so delicious. Had mashed potatoes one night… Put olive oil on them.

HU: What are you most looking forward to during the semester?
MW: I am most looking forward to going into Florence and exploring as much as I can. I’ve felt so much independence here, and I’m looking forward to knowing my way around the city and having “favorite gelato places” or “favorite sandwich places.”

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Photo by Ashel Parsons

Photo by Ashel Parsons

Harding University in Paris (HIP) will begin including Spain as a part of the program in spring 2016.

Students will travel around Spain together for three-four weeks in Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Seville, the Canary Islands and Barcelona. Then they will go to the program’s base location in Paris, known as La Ville-Lumiere, where classes are focused at the epicenter of French culture.

Ashel Parsons, international programs administrator, spent 18 days this summer exploring Spain. She is teaching photography for the program in the spring.

“I explored a lot on foot,” Parsons said. “I love traveling this way because I am free to take side roads or wonder off in a direction that interests me, like quaint shops, cafes, buildings or parks. Each corner brought new sights and sounds.”

In addition to a period of free travel time at the conclusion of the semester, students have a few free days in a couple of the cities in Spain to explore and shop on their own.

“Spain is a beautiful addition because of the variety of locations included in the program,” she said. “It’s one thing to quickly travel through one or two of Spain’s big cities independently, but it’s a whole new understanding to dive in and get the full experience of multiple Spanish cities.”

Parsons soaked up the culture in her travels as she saw exquisite architecture and embraced unique dining experiences. She noted that Spain had a more laid back, relaxed atmosphere compared to America.

“Narrow streets with beautiful architecture surrounded long alleyways that gave off an Italian feel with cobblestones beneath my feet and Spanish style archways and balconies scattered throughout the tightly packed buildings,” Parsons described. “Many times, I was one of the first to sit down for dinner at a popular restaurant at 9:30 at night because they eat late lunches and very late dinners.”

Her favorite part was having a vague idea of where she was going but being willing to take a detour to find something unexpected. She said she found the people to be very friendly and welcoming.

“HIP is a great opportunity to study in unique places. Spain is just the beginning,” Parsons said. “Living in Paris and traveling to southern France is also something to look forward to. Students are housed in the center of it all so that they are able to get the feel of what it’s like to be a Parisian for a couple of months.”

Erin Hanson, public relations intern

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Name: Dylan Sherrill
Classification: Junior
Major: Double major in accounting and management information systems
Hometown: Little Rock, Arkansas
Studying at: HUF

HU: What is your current location?
DS: The Villa (Scandicci)

HU: What has been your favorite group trip in Italy?
DS: My favorite group trip was Cinque Terre because we went to the beach and had a devo by the sea that evening.

HU: What has been your favorite place you’ve traveled outside of Italy?
DS: My favorite place outside of Italy so far has been Prague on first free travel. It was my favorite because it felt like an old town city on the outside but was incredibly modern inside buildings.

Photo courtesy Dylan Sherrill.

HU: What do you love most about Florence?
DS: I love Florence for its heritage and dedication to remembering it. Because it is the birthplace of the Renaissance, it has a responsibility to carry on the legacy even hundreds of years later.

HU: What has been your favorite meal in the villa?
DS: My favorite meal at the villa is pasta with white sauce as the appetizer and pork with mashed potatoes and green beans as the main course. For dessert it was fantastic when it was someone’s birthday because they would serve a special cake from a bakery. And the best part is unlimited pasta and water.

HU: What’s your favorite thing you’ve purchased for yourself?
DS: I haven’t purchased my favorite thing yet, but I will be soon when I visit St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland. It is the birthplace of golf, and I will be getting a polo from their pro shop.

HU: What are you most looking forward to in the next weeks to come?
DS: I am most looking forward to lovely English speaking people in the UK but mostly because my favorite city is London, which I visited three years ago.

Stay tuned for more profiles on students as they experience the opportunity Harding provides in unique cultures and extraordinary sites at the University’s international programs.

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Name: Annelise Nutt
Classification: Sophomore
Major: Elementary education
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Studying at: HUG

HU: What is your current location?
AN: Currently we at our home away from home in Porto Rafti, which is about an hour away from Athens.

HU: What has been your favorite meal so far?
AN: That’s a really hard one! Anything Natasa (our cook) makes is absolutely amazing, but on top of that I could always go for a Chicken gyro.

HU: What is your favorite photo you’ve taken so far?

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AN: I became obsessed with all of the different poppies that grew everywhere while we were in Turkey.

HU: What is your favorite part of living in the Artemis?
AN: My favorite part about living at the Artemis is how close it is to Athens and, at the same time, it’s far enough away you don’t see so many tourists. The fact that it is about a 15-minute walk to the beach is an added bonus.

HU: What is your favorite thing you’ve purchased for yourself?
AN: I got it in Turkey, and it’s something you hang in your room. It has elephants hanging on it — elephants are my favorite animals.

HU: What is your favorite site you’ve visited so far and why?
AN: So far, my favorite site we’ve seen is Ephesus, which was when we were in Turkey. We sat in one of the run-down churches on site and read through the entire book of Ephesians, and sitting there in the actual place that we were reading was like confirming that I’m not living a dream — that I’m actually here in this place where this actually happened.

HU: What country besides Greece are you most looking forward to visiting?
AN: I’m really looking forward to going to Germany during free travel because growing up I’d hear stories about it from my Grandpa, who has been multiple times, and even my mom, who went during her time at HUF back in the 80’s. Being able to add my own stories to theirs would be a lifelong dream come true.

Stay tuned for more profiles on students as they experience the opportunity Harding provides in unique cultures and extraordinary sites at the University’s international programs.

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Name: Janet Jones
Classification: Sophomore
Major: Drama/speech with teaching certification
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Studying at: HUF

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HU: What is your current location?
JJ: Florence, Italy

HU: What is your favorite part about living there?
JJ: Italian culture! Everything is so different, and I love learning new things.

HU: What is it like living in a 16th-century Italian villa?
JJ: It’s very interesting living here. My family renovates houses on the side, so I love seeing the different configurations of the villa. My favorite part about the villa is that there is so much to do here. There are so many rooms where people can chill, watch a movie, play games, etc.

HU: What was going through your mind when you first walked up that famous hill and saw where you would be living for the summer?
JJ: I was in awe. I couldn’t believe that I was living in this amazing country for the next three months. I’m still in shock that I am living in this amazing place with such an incredible view.

HU: Where in the villa do you most like to hang out and why?
JJ: I like to hang out outside. We have a court to play volleyball/basketball, and we have a giant table and two couch swings. We do homework outside when the weather is nice, and we play volleyball at night. It’s so much fun to bond with people.

HU: What do mealtimes in the villa look like?
JJ: I have yet to have a meal here that I haven’t liked. We have several options, usually with a form of pasta, some meat, fruit, bread and Nutella. We are very well fed here! Everyone sits in the same room with six long tables. At the beginning, the tables were numbered and we would each draw a number out of a bowl with a number on it. We got to eat with a different combination of people every meal. It was so much fun getting to know everyone that way.

HU: What are you most looking forward to during the semester?
JJ: I am really looking forward to free travel! I just came back from the Milan Expo yesterday, and I got to see many other countries’ cultures. It makes me that much more excited to go with my friends to the countries I have been dreaming about since I was little.

Stay tuned for more profiles on students as they experience the opportunity Harding provides in unique cultures and extraordinary sites at the University’s international programs.

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Name: Kory Jones
Classification: Senior
Major: English with teaching certification
Hometown: Decatur, Texas
Studying at: COE-HUS (College of Education in Scotland, a five-week summer program for pre-student teachers.)

HU: What is your current location?
KJ: Larbert, Scotland

HU: What has been your favorite experience you’ve had so far?
KJ: My favorite experience has been observing in the schools. The kids are fabulous, the teachers are so helpful, and the staff is so friendly. It’s been such a great experience to be in the school and see a different style of teaching.

HU: What is your favorite photo you’ve taken so far?

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KJ: This photo is my favorite photo so far. It was taken behind the Van Loom house in Amsterdam. It’s a garden — a rather large one — that is one of many hidden behind the houses that line the canals. It was so beautiful and peaceful that I fell in love and I wish it would have fit in my suitcase.

HU: If you could go back right now to before you left and give yourself a piece of advice about the trip, what would it be?
KJ: It would be to stay calm. When things go wrong (like being delayed in airports for two days), it’s important to remember that everything will be OK and you will eventually get to where you’re going. It just might not be the way you expect.

HU: What are you most looking forward to during the semester?
KJ: I am most looking forward to free travel and “The Sound of Music” bike tour! I am a huge fan of “The Sound of Music,” and I can’t wait to get to Salzburg and see the hills.

Stay tuned for more profiles on students as they experience the opportunity Harding provides in unique cultures and extraordinary sites at the University’s international programs.

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Name: Thomas Hesson
Classification: Junior
Major: Nursing
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Studying at: HUG

HU: What is your current location?
TH: Porto Rafti. It’s about 45 minutes outside of Athens.

HU: What has been the most interesting thing that has happened on your journey so far?
TH: Going into Athens and seeing the Parthenon. I was completely taken aback at the sight of it.

HU: How many photos do you think you’ve taken as of now?
TH: I’ve taken more than 1,000 photos.

HU: Do you have a favorite?
TH: My favorite photo is this one because it’s the view from Porto Rafti, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

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HU: What is the strangest thing you’ve eaten so far?
TH: The strangest thing we have eaten so far is definitely squid, but it was also one of my favorite things!

HU: What are you most looking forward to during the semester?
TH: It’s really hard to decide what I’m looking forward to this summer. But if I had to pick one it would definitely be our trip to Israel! I’m so excited to actually see where Jesus walked and shared the gospel.

Stay tuned for more profiles on students as they experience the opportunity Harding provides in unique cultures and extraordinary sites at the University’s international programs.

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I think it’s safe to say that most students have a Harding experience that includes spending spring afternoons on the front lawn, building relationships with new friends at the start of a school year, and cheering on the Bisons at various athletics events. And many students experience Harding for a semester in another country.

This summer, we’ll be sharing Q&A-style profiles on a few students as they experience the opportunity Harding provides in unique cultures and extraordinary sites at the University’s international programs in Florence, Italy, and Athens, Greece.

Name: Janzen Teague
Classification: Junior
Hometown: North Little Rock, Arkansas
Studying at: HUF

HU: What is your current location?
JT: Scandicci. We’re 30-45 minutes from Florence staying in a beautiful villa in the Italian countryside.

HU: What has been the most interesting thing that has happened on your journey so far?
JT: We haven’t been here long, so I’m sure there are many interesting things to come, but some of us almost got cut off by some train doors in the Atlanta airport to start the trip off with some excitement!

HU: How many pictures do you think you’ve taken as of now?
JT: Close to 100

HU: Do you have a favorite?
JT: My favorite is the first picture I took from the terrace of the villa right after we got here on Thursday night.

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HU: What is the strangest thing you’ve eaten?
JT: The Italian diet is pretty straightforward; lots of pasta, a meat dish, vegetables, fruits, and bread — and coffee with every meal.

HU: What are you most looking forward to during the semester?
JT: If I’m being honest, I’m most looking forward to a nice Southern Italian beach! In a couple of weeks, we get to go stay in a castle, and I am pretty ecstatic for that as well!

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